President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera says Malawi is now able to sequence Coronavirus, the development he said reduces the country’s overdependence to South African laboratories.He was speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, on Sunday during an address to the Nation on the status of the war on COVID-19.
The Malawi leader said with the sequencing capabilities, Malawi’s scientists at the Malawi Liverpool Welcome Trust laboratories are able to tell the virus’s variables.Dr. Chakwera also said that in the past week, statistics indicate that the country has registered a downward trend of COVID-19 positivity rate from 37 percent to 29 percent.
The President said this is heavily attributed to good collaboration among different institutions mandated to champion enforcement of COVID-19 preventive guidelines in the country. However the Malawi leader emphasised on the need for the vast majority not to hide the disease from health officials. He said reporting to health officials can help health workers make timely intervention in saving lives of those found with the virus.
He added, “Government is making efforts to ensure that the first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine be despatched in the country by end of February, with the first consignment largely targeting frontline health workers as well as the elderly.”Dr. Chakwera also disclosed that following his directive to have 1380 medical personnel employed , so far 1128 have been identified and are now waiting for letters of appointment.
Meanwhile, the President has expressed satisfaction on levels of progress made so far by the Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders following his directive to set up field hospitals for COVID-19 patients as well as increase testing sites and kits. He has since called for continued collaboration.